Axel Roesler, Associate Professor in Interactive Design at Washington University, writes on BigThink.com: “… the world of innovation is a world in which humans define what is new and accepted and embraced. So, yes, human interaction is essential when we innovate. And, yes, again, 21stcentury innovation has to be people-friendly.” Good design is thereby an evolution of ideas that are improving human interaction. Where one of the main drivers is technology. Publishing is one of the areas that are taking a big leap. Digital technology drives the development and ideas. What we have seen so far is just a light breeze of what is coming.
Researchers at FAU (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität) define industry 4.0 in the following way: “Industry 4.0 means the automation, digitalisation and networking of design, production, information, communication and management processes.” Put in practice for the publishing industry this requires new business models that are more customer-driven and more interactive than the traditional passive consumption of media. As Alex Roesler writes in the article mentioned above: “Design innovation presents new opportunities and ways to do things differently.”
Tearing down the walls of publishing
The days are gone when the author had to rely on that a publishing house would accept his or her work. Since the walls of the book market were too high to be entered in any other way. The publisher took care of editing, copyediting, cover design, formatting, proofreading, print book design, audiobook narration and production, marketing and advertising. Today, a myriad of start-up book-publishing-services are growing on the web. This is turning the book market into an a la carte for the author. Where she can choose what she wants to do herself and which services to use. 460 000 titles were self-published in the US in 2013, according to Bowker. Self-published books accounted for 31% of all e-book sales in the Kindle Store in 2014. And this is just a first crack of dawn to Publishing 4.0 that we have seen so far.